Paul De Santis
Goettsch Partners, Chicago
Sustainability is a main focus of Abu Dhabi Global Market Square, and the design of the complex integrates many sustainable initiatives. These include ventilated, double-skin façades, in order to insulate the buildings against extreme temperatures; active and passive solar shading to further control light and heat gain; condensation collection from cooling coils, to supply the water feature and provide irrigation; and active lighting controls to balance natural and artificial light. The environmentally responsive enclosure system uses a mechanically ventilated cavity and a double-skin façade system over large portions of the office buildings. These elements mitigate the vast interior/exterior temperature differential and protect building occupants from the intense sand storms and constant corrosive mist of the neighboring Gulf Coast.
The double-skin cavities run uninterrupted along the entire height of the four office towers, starting from the fourth floor and extending to the penthouse mechanical floors. Within these cavities, active solar shades continuously track and adjust for the sun angle, to provide optimal shading to the building’s interior. The cavity is sealed to protect the gears from airborne particulates. Active solar shading and glass selection keep the cavity from heating up and increasing the internal radiant temperature. To minimize the amount of solar energy penetrating the outer layer of the double-skin system, an outboard lite with a very high shading coefficient (76%) was selected. The remaining energy was then blocked from reaching the inner façade by the active shading; however, its presence contributed to an elevated air temperature within the double-skin cavity.